Appropriate technology centre celebrates 33 years of service to the nation | Page 2 | Daily News

Appropriate technology centre celebrates 33 years of service to the nation

Resident Director ATRDC Sarath Gunarathne with workers at the workshop
Resident Director ATRDC Sarath Gunarathne with workers at the workshop

The Appropriate Technology Research and Development Centre (ATRDC) Pannala, Kurunegala, which is a collaboration between the governments of Sri Lanka and Japan, will celebrate 33 years of serving the nation through the use of Appropriate Technology (AT).

ATRDC Pannala was established in February 1985 on the basis of a technical cooperation agreement between the Sri Lanka government and the Japanese government.

The agreement was jointly implemented by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Industrial Development Board of Sri Lanka (IDB), a statutory Board under the then Ministry of Rural Industrial Development.

The sole purpose of this project was to help the rural sector develop through the use of appropriate technology which is considered the most suitable and affordable for rural sector small and medium scale industries.

While the Sri Lanka government contributed towards this project to the tune of Rs. 9 million, by end 1986, the Japanese government made its contribution to the success of the project in the form of providing experts, training, machinery and equipment to the value of US$ 1.9 million, by end May 1987.

As the country grapples with the problem of garbage disposal and begins to implement the ban on polythene products, one machine invented by the ATRDC comes into focus: an incinerator which effectively turns of garbage including hard polythene into compost fertilizer in pellet form, which has been manufactured for the use of the Pradeshiya Sabha, Matale.

The incinerator with three chambers - press, burner and pelletizer - has been approved by relevant authorities including the Central Environmental Authority. According to officials of the Pradeshiya Sabha, the incinerator is functioning well. As the machine releases gas above 60 feet from ground level, it effectively removes any health hazard.

ATRDC Resident Director Sarath Gunarathne said the Centre manufactures similar machines on request, with the positive results as experienced by the Matale Pradeshiya Saba, at affordable prices.

The Centre has been doing a tremendous service to the nation in the past three decades by inventing new machinery and other equipment to successfully meet the challenges that crop up from time to time.

The Centre also conducts training programmes in welding/fitting, manufactures low cost wooden furniture, roller shutters and collapsible doors and engages in light engineering. ATRDC provides training and valuation, technology transfer and advisory services, visits industries and lends them necessary assistance.

Grinders, belt hammers, broom handles, milling machines, lawn mowers, electric potters’ wheels and crushers are among the other machines manufactured by the Centre.

The aims and objective of the government in establishing ATRDC was to improve living standards of the rural polity and also create employment opportunities, using to the maximum existing human and natural resources. The government is keen to develop this sector through an integrated development of the economy without disturbing the social, cultural and ecological fabric of society. 


 

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